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How To Become a Horse Trainer In Australia

April 6, 2019 Sports No Comments Email Email

Have you ever watched the races and wondered how people became the trainers of these champion horses we see week in and week out? Maybe it’s something you’re interested in trying yourself and want to know how to get started?

There are a few options open these days to becoming a qualified and skilled horse trainer.

For starters, you can first complete some formal education that helps prepare you for a career as a trainer. It’s also another career choice open to veterinarians and people who already have acquired skills in caring for animals, in particular horses.

The best way to learn the skills and knowledge required to become an accomplished trainer is to learn – on the job – from other trainers.

If you were to combine all three options mentioned above, then you’d be well on your way to looking after and training some champion Australian racehorses.

Some Key Personal Requirements of a Racehorse Trainer

Apart from education and training, what are some of the other skills and personal attributes a good racehorse trainer will possess?

  • Having a keen interest in horses, especially racehorses and horse racing, is obviously something every good trainer will need
  • Teaching and training a horse to reach the greatest heights in the sport takes time and a lot of patience. You won’t have a horse doing everything you require of it in a matter of weeks
  • It can be a physically and mentally demanding job at times, and you’re also dealing with animals that can be unpredictable, so you need to keep yourself in good shape
  • A horse trainer spends a lot of time outdoors putting their horses through their paces, so another key attribute is to fully embrace and enjoy outdoor work
  • Good communication skills, both with people and horses, is a must

Education for the Job

If your dream is to become a champion trainer and hope to maybe one day train a Melbourne Cup winning horse, then education is your first step in achieving that goal.

You don’t necessarily need any formal tertiary qualifications, but the completion of at least Grade 10 is a must. However, the more knowledge of the industry you can acquire before seeking on the job training, the better chance you’ll have of landing a position.

Much of the skills and knowledge you’ll acquire will be learned from other trainers and horse owners you work with, as well as the jockeys and track riders you interact with on a regular basis.

Reading as much as you can about the industry will also give you a much better understanding of what’s required of a good trainer, as well as learning the lingo of the horse racing industry.

The Key Duties of a Horse Trainer

Part of your key duties will be teaching horses to get used to saddles and having riders on their backs. A horse that’s going to race must get used to this as soon as possible.

Some horses will have various behavioural issues, and it’s the trainer’s job to help work through these issues until the horse has become more compliant.

Trainers must be able to communicate with their horses via verbal and non-verbal demands. Mastering this art is an absolute must to have a successful career.

Trainers also interact a lot with obviously the track riders – those “Jockeys” whose job it is to put the horses through their paces day in and day out, under the command of the horse’s trainer. The trainer will also liaise with the horse’s owners, horse race jockeys, the vet, and everyone else involved in the training and well being of the horse.

Along with other helpers, trainers also play a role in keeping stables clean and hygienic, feeding and watering the animals, looking after the grooming and overall health of the horses, treating any minor injuries and immediately reporting any serious concerns to the veterinarian.

There is a lot going on in the world of horse racing, and the trainer is basically at the centre of most of the action.

Proudly parading around with a winning racehorse on race day is only a very small part of the responsibilities a horse trainer has.

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